How To

Useful Tips And Ground Rules To Build Your Online Mentoring Platform

18 Apr 2018
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11 min

Learning is the eye of the mind. This proverb is proved to be true during many centuries. Many people learn every day something new, they comprehend new information, and it helps them build their future life. With the development of online technologies, a mentoring platform in the virtual environment becomes real. Students can find teachers that are skilled in different fields. And online mentoring platform development can be a really good idea for your startup since it is what people need.

Let's find out more about such platforms and what you need to undertake to create your own mentoring platform.

Online mentoring software: why it is a good business idea

What is a mentoring program itself? It is not only teaching, mentoring includes consulting, coaching and even psychological assistance. There are two persons in this process like a mentor (the person who teaches and helps) and mentee (the person who is learning). In most cases, mentoring is used in work team when a newcomer gets its mentor - an experienced employee that can teach newcomer with new skills and upgrade his or her level.

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To a certain degree, a mentor can be any individual that knows more in the specific field of activity. But unlike professional mentoring, mentees can get only specific part of mentoring. When you find a professional mentor, he or she should use all necessary sides of mentoring.

starting a mentoring business

Advantages of mentoring platform and why you need it

Why is mentor tracking system good for your future business?

  • First, it can help persons solve their problems when they face obstacles in the process of learning something new. Your platform can give people experienced mentors that will assist in the resolution of all problems related to learning.
  • Second, the availability of mentors in different fields can also attract more mentees to your mentor app. The more specialists your platform will have, the more newcomers will see an advantage in your platform.
  • Third, individual approach. There are a large number of training courses and mentoring platforms on the web, but not so many of them offer mentors that are skilled in different professions. Individual work makes online platform beneficial and more useful for newcomers. That is why you can make some benefit from it.

How it works

The scheme can be the following. A mentee is looking for a mentor on his own in a mentor application. A mentee is describing to mentor what he or she wants to learn and terms. Then the work starts where the main goal is to achieve results indicated by a mentee.

Let's mark main tasks that mentor should perform:

  • Mentors evaluate a potential of their mentee;
  • Mentors explain theoretical information about a specified field; 
  • Mentors show how the work can be done using their example; 
  • Mentors help mentees make purposes and how to achieve them; 
  • Mentors help mentees concentrate on necessary tasks; 
  • Also, mentors should provide mentees with practical tasks that allow mentees grow; 
  • A mentor is a psychological motivator for mentee; 
  • Tips and recommendations from a mentor during the teaching process are integral; 

It is not a full list of tasks mentors should do. In fact, mentors combine functions of coaches, psychologists, consultants, and teachers simultaneously.

Types of mentoring

There are three types of mentoring programs that are used in practice today.

mentor platform

Main types of mentoring platforms

Individual mentoring

Everything is simple. A mentor is working with his or her mentee individually, tete-a-tete. This type is the most widespread and it is considered to be the most efficient way of teaching.

Group mentoring

One mentor interacts with a group of mentees that are learning the same subject and they have the same goal. As a rule, it can be employees from one department that need to increase their skills to learn a new task.

Collective mentoring

Group of mentors interacts with a group of mentees. It can be a better option for enterprises as well.

As you can see, individual mentoring will always prevail since it is the only type that can offer mentees a first-rate teaching level. And this is what your future online mentoring programs should focus on. Cleveroad will help you turn this idea into reality.

Things to consider when starting online mentoring platform

Before you launch mentoring platform, there are some necessary steps that you should undertake to create a high-quality product.

Determine your goal

When developing a mentoring program and relevant platform, imagine that you are a mentor or a mentee. What should the platform be to motivate people to register in? It should have simple user experience and attractive user interface. The website or mobile app should have all necessary features to let both mentors and mentees feel comfortable. If you try to discuss all issues with your target audience, it will also help you build a strategy for your future platform - people will tell you what they want to see in the mentoring platform. If you help people achieve their needs, your software will become popular.

Think about fields of activity

Then you must choose the most widespread skills people want to learn. I mean what fields people are willing to learn more. Today IT field is considered to be one of the popular fields, and many people want to know how to code and create software. Also, math, physics, psychology, business - are also the leading fields you should add to your software. A detailed research will help you find out what skills are interesting for people nowadays. Paying more attention to websites for jobs will help you see what positions are in trend, and which one of them your mentoring program software should contain.

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Build a right structure

Your mentoring platform should have three main participants. The absence of these participants makes such platform invalid. So take it into account. The first participant is a mentor, of course. The second one is a mentee, consequently. And the last one is mentoring program manager. This is the specialist that will solve any problems that may arise between mentor and mentee, manage their connections, explain rules and so on. Thus, it is some kind of three whales of mentor apps. Keep it in mind.

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Mind to match participants

Every student wants to find a good mentor. And if one mentor seems unacceptable for a mentee, it doesn't mean that this mentor is a bad specialist. It just means that mentor has its own approach that is not applicable to everybody. That is why you should consider matching form where each mentee can choose mentor according to his or her needs. Mentors, in turn, add relevant particularities to their profile to let mentees search using these features.

Also, you can offer mentees an opportunity to let admin choose a mentor for them. In case if mentees don't want to choose by themselves. Mentor matching software brings many advantages to mentees, and a special algorithm written by our developers can help implement it.

Elaborate ground rules

Apart from standard terms of the agreement, your mentor matching app should contain necessary guidelines that will help mentors and mentee collaborate in a more fruitful way. These rules will help increase the efficiency of joint work. They should include main communication methods, duration of lessons, schedule, and so on. If you add such rules, it will help mentors and mentees avoid any troubles and unnecessary questions in future.

how to start a mentoring program

Important steps to your mentoring platform development

And the last unspoken rule: don't ignore feedbacks! Even when your platform will gain momentum, it doesn't mean that you should stop upgrading it. Always monitor all feedbacks that will help you improve your service and make it more useful for mentors and mentee collaboration. Create questionnaires to find out what your users want to change and collect all feedbacks. Also, monitor the progress of mentees and offer them rematch mentors if you see that mentees still didn't reach an expected result.

Consider all these steps and you won't fail. And our developers will help you create the product you need. Moreover, they will add basic features that mentoring platform should have. Let's check these features out.

Basic features mentoring platform should include

Your online coaching software should offer the following must-have features:

Matching

An algorithm written by developers help mentees choose a mentor they want by indicated data. A special form will search for mentor automatically and this is what all mentees want to see in your mentor software. Correct matching will guarantee that mentee will be satisfied with teaching and it will bring you a profit.

find mentor app

Matching feature to find a right mentor

History

Mentors, mentees and program managers need to always be aware of the progress, how many lessons are passed, total time, connections, rematching and other required information. History feature in software should be included since it will help avoid confusions.

Online forum

A forum for all participants can be a good way for them to discuss what they want to see else in your software, discuss some new topics, share their opinion regarding one or another mentor. Such forum will help you find all weak sides of your mentoring app and eliminate them quickly.

Push notifications

They are necessary since notifications make it possible for mentees not to miss lessons, get results on time and receive other important notifications with the interesting and useful news.

Chat

Online chat form for communicating with program managers and between mentors/mentee.

coaching and mentoring apps

Intagrated chat in mentoring software

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Communication tools

Apart from built-in chat, you should add the capability for mentors and mentees to communicate in real time via live streaming. Skype API, Facetime and other tools for video calls. In some case, ordinary chat system can be enough, but live streaming should be available.

Search

Search bar with categories and filters allow all participants to find everything they need in your platform.

Rating and reviews

A system of ratings and reviews always remains very important. How good is this mentor? His or her rating will reply to this question. Detailed reviews will help mentees find out whether they can hire this mentor or not.

Rating and reviews

Rating shows how mentor is good

In-app payment

Mentors will get a salary for their work, and mentees can pay them using payment form in your software that is very convenient.

This is the main way how your mentoring platform can be monetized. An indicated percent of each payment will be withdrawn for using your service and you will be able to get earn on it. Also, you can add advertisement, but it should be limited since the abundance of advertising will make your users refuse to use your software. Keep it in mind.

Made by Cleveroad: Openmind platform

Our company already had a great experience of the development of a mentoring platform. It is called Openmind, and it is available for iOS devices at the moment. This mentoring app was created specifically for students from San-Francisco. And we will show you this mentor application sample. Everybody who wants to learn something can register as a student, choose a training course, pay for it, and the system will match a mentor to this student.

Its main feature list is the following:

Matching

A system finds the most appropriate mentor automatically after a student inputs all necessary data about the course he or she needs;

Openmind app

Matching feature in Openmind app

Chat

Openmind makes it possible for mentors and mentees chat and discuss all necessary issues regarding future and previous tasks. Also, there is a chat-bot that helps mentor and mentees adjust their communication;

Openmind app chat

Chatting in Openmind app

Push notifications

Mentor gives task after each lesson to a mentee, and upon completion of this task a push notification is popping up. There is a result of the task completed in this notification.

Openmind app was built using such main tools and languages like Swift 4, .NetCore, Amazon Web Services, Swagger.

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Have you already made a decision to create a mentoring platform like Openmind or you want to have something unique? Our company is at your disposal. We showed you the right approach you must follow if you want your mentoring app to become really competitive. Then just contact us, and we will help you arrange the development process. Don't forget to subscribe to our blog - there is a button on the right side.

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